您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 教育 >> 正文

快节奏的生活竟有如此好处

更新时间:2017-11-20 10:54:38 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The surprising upsides of an accelerating world
快节奏的生活竟有如此好处

Have you ever felt that your life might be jammed on fast forward, accelerating away from you into the distance?

你是否曾经感觉自己的生活节奏可能过快,快到自己都追赶不上?

It’s not your imagination: we are surrounded by daily indications that the pace of life is picking up, from how quickly we think the day is passing, to the length of shots in Hollywood movies, to our ever-decreasing tolerance for standing around in queues.

这并非幻觉:你日常的各种迹象都表明生活节奏在加快,从对时间匆匆而过的直观感受,到好莱坞电影的镜头长度,再到我们对排队等待越来越没有耐心。

Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the office, where life can feel like an endless procession of emails and meetings, with precious little time to get anything productive done.

这一点在办公室体现得最为明显,每天的工作感觉就是在处理无穷无尽的电子邮件和会议,导致珍贵的时间无法用到实处。

According to research by Jonathan B Spira, CEO of research and IT advisory firm Basex and author of Overload!, two thirds of workers felt that they didn’t have enough time to get everything done – and 94% have at some point felt “overwhelmed by information to the point of incapacitation”.

根据研究和IT咨询公司Basex首席执行官兼《超负荷》(Overload!)一书的作者乔纳森·斯比拉(Jonathan B Spira)的调查,三分之二的职场人士感觉没有足够的时间来完成所有事情——94%有时会感觉"信息多到让人无所适从。"

An online survey of 7,331 US workers found more than half failed to take their full holiday allocation. The most popular explanation? They were worried about the mountain of work waiting for them when they returned.

对7,331名美国劳动者进行的网络调查显示,超过一半的人未能享受完整的假期。最常见的原因是什么?他们担心度假归来后的工作会堆积如山。

The sheer volume of information reaching us can kill productivity. Humans are not well-equipped to multi-task: every time you switch attention from one thing to another – responding to an email notification, for example – you take a cognitive hit. These distractions can add up: a 2005 study found that the average worker focused on a task for only 11 minutes before being interrupted. A smaller, more recent study found that banning workers from checking their inboxes made them less stressed and more focused.

我们收到的海量信息会扼杀效率。人类天生就不适合同时处理许多任务:每当你从一件事情切换到另一件事情时——例如查看电子邮件通知——就会遭受认知冲击。这些分散精力的因素会累加起来:2005年的一项调查发现,职场人士平均每工作11分钟就会被打扰一次。最近进行的一项范围较小的调查也发现,禁止员工查看收件箱可以降低他们的紧张感,加强他们的注意力。

A faster pace of life is associated with greater stress, and those who spend longer hours at the office are at higher risk of a stroke, to name one heath risk. But as office life speeds up, it can also bring significant benefits for workers.

快节奏的生活会导致压力增加,而长时间待在办公室的人也会增加中风风险,这只是诸多健康风险中的一项而已。但不断加快的工作节奏其实也可以带来一些好处。

High-speed existence

加快节奏

The varying pace of life is the subject of surprisingly little research. The most in-depth international study on the topic is a 1999 paper by psychology professors Robert Levine and Ara Norenzayan. They found that those living in faster-paced communities also tend to be more productive, and have a greater sense of subjective wellbeing.

令人意外的是,很少有人针对不同的生活节奏展开研究。针对这一课题进行的最深入的国际研究是1999年由心理学家罗伯特·莱文(Robert Levine)和阿拉·诺伦扎严(Ara Norenzayan)撰写的一篇论文。他们发现,在节奏较快的社区生活的人,往往更有效率,主观幸福感也更强。

Another paper, which examines the pace of life in cities, found that life speeds up in large urban areas, because of the greater frequency of social interactions - leading to a faster pace of innovation and wealth creation.

另外一篇论文对多座城市的生活节奏进行研究后发现,大城市的生活节奏在加快,原因是社会互动频率在加大——导致创新和财富创造的速度也在加快。

There is also an important distinction to make here which we often overlook. When we think about stress at work, we make an implicit association with ‘distress’, i.e. the kind of stress that causes us suffering. But we often overlook the flipside, known as ‘eustress’ – the kind of positive, pleasant feeling that comes from tackling and mastering a tricky task.

此外还有一项经常被我们忽视的重要区别。当我们想到工作中的压力时,往往会与"苦恼"联系起来,也就是说,这种压力会令我们痛苦。但我们经常忽视另一面,也就是所谓的"良性压力"——这是在处理和掌控棘手任务时产生的积极而愉悦的感受。

There must be something in the idea of eustress – most surveys of job satisfaction in Europe and the US suggest that most people don’t hate their jobs.

良性压力的确有道理——欧洲和美国的多数职场满意度调查都表明,多数人都不憎恨自己的工作。

Today, almost eight out of 10 people in the UK say they are somewhat, mostly or completely happy with their jobs. Across Europe, 74% of people feel the same while in the US, the figure was 88%. And these figures are generally either stable or increasing: in the UK, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, net job satisfaction increased by 3% in the past year alone, with 64% satisfied to 16% dissatisfied.

如今,每10个英国人中就有8人对自己的工作"有点满意"、"非常满意"、"完全满意"。整个欧洲的比例达到74%,美国约为88%。这个数字整体呈现稳中有升的趋势:根据英国特许人事和发展协会(Chartered Institute of Personnel Development)的统计,仅过去一年的工作满意度就净增3%,64%的人感到满意,16%的人感到不满。

The day-to-day

日常生活

Even as it has increased the time pressure on us, an accelerated world has also altered the nature of our daily work – potentially making it more creative and rewarding. Yes, automation and mechanisation have disrupted industries and destroyed jobs (as well as created new ones). But automation has also stripped out many tasks that were dull, routine or physically draining.

即便给我们增加了时间压力,但节奏更快的世界同时也改变了我们的日常工作模式——可能使之更具创造力,也更有意义。没错,自动化和机械化颠覆了行业,破坏了就业(同时也创造了新的就业)。但自动化也消除了很多单调重复或者对身体有害的任务。

In the US, rates of work-related illness and injury have been in steep decline. Across the EU, the proportion of workers in “arduous” or “hazardous” jobs is now between 1% and 4%.  Cargo is now unloaded by crane, for example, rather than by stevedores. Tax returns are filed – and scanned – by computer, rather than being pored over by armies of clerks.

在美国,与工作相关的伤病率已经大幅减少。在整个欧洲,从事"艰苦"或"危险"工作的工人比例目前在1%至4%之间。例如,货物现在由吊车负责装卸,而不必使用装卸工。纳税申报单也可以用电脑填写和扫描,而不必聘用大量的文员。

And as the digital revolution rolls on, helping to speed many tasks up, the jobs that are left, or newly created, are those that involve applying ingenuity and creativity to problems, or managing the processes that computers are carrying out.

随着数字化革命的推进,很多任务的速度得以加快,幸存下来或最新出现的工作都可以在解决问题的过程中融入独创性和创造力,或者要负责管理电脑的执行过程。

Artificial intelligence software, for instance, can now sift through thousands of pages of legal documentation and highlight the important bits. Thanks to this technology, the time taken to produce a legal document for a bank, for example, has fallen from around three hours to three minutes. This will leave the remaining lawyers to concentrate on more complex, higher-value work.

例如,人工智能软件现在可以筛选成千上万页法律文件,并标记其中的重要信息。得益于这项技术,为银行制作法律文档的时间已经从3小时缩短到3分钟。这就可以让剩下的律师集中精力处理更加复杂、附加值更高的工作。

More broadly, what acceleration has done, across society, is to cut out the slack. Leisurely two-hour lunches have been replaced with events and tasks.

更广泛地看,生活节奏的加快令人们的生活不再那么懒散。原本两小时的午饭休闲时间被各种活动和任务取代。

To be sure, an accelerated lifestyle has its strains and stresses. But they are often fixable – for example by muting email notifications; or taking a few short moments to engage in some mindfulness therapy. And if given the chance to give up the technology that enables this quickening pace, most of us wouldn’t go back.

诚然,越来越快的生活节奏的确会产生压力。但这通常都是可以解决的——例如,可以将电子邮件的通知设成静音,或者安排几次短暂的休息时间来进行正念疗法。事实上,如果真的给你机会放弃这些加快生活节奏的技术,多数人也不愿回到过去。

There’s nothing that we like more than complaining about the pace of life. But we do so almost boastfully – to be rushed off your feet is to be busy, important, valued. And every time we’re given the choice between fast and slow, we choose the faster pace – even while reserving the right to moan about it all the way.

我们都喜欢抱怨生活节奏的加快,但这么做多数都是为了炫耀——快节奏的生活表明你很忙碌、很重要、很有价值。每当面临快与慢的选择时,我们都会选择更快的节奏——尽管我们总会保留发牢骚的权利。

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表